Tag: bagels

A morning tradition

MOST EVERY morning following croissantitos and orange marmelade or Costco bagels and cream cheese lite, plus café americano negro, of course, we retire to the living room and sit on the red sofa.

The music machine is already playing. I turn that on before bagels or croissantitos. This morning it was Madeleine Peyroux who was serenading us. She’s been our morning music for quite a few weeks now.

And will remain so till we weary of her.

This is how the scene appeared this morning. It doesn’t last long because we are a very busy pair, but it lasts long enough to count.

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(Note: The rather loud tick, tock, tick you hear is my Aunt Ned’s (R.I.P.) antique wall clock which dates from about 1885. I date from somewhat later than that.)

Beheading Birds of Paradise

birds
Survivors. Birds of Paradise who made the cut … or didn’t.

THIS SUNDAY MORNING, I awoke and thought of Sundays of Long Ago, specifically when I was married to my second wife and living in Houston.

We had a routine. I’d retrieve the fat Houston Chronicle from the lawn, pour coffee for the two of us — maybe we ate something too, can’t recall — and back to bed we went for an hour or more, reading the newspaper. It was fun.

I wonder if the Houston Chronicle still publishes a print edition. The world has changed so much in the past two decades. Another former employer, The Times-Picayune in New Orleans, does not. It’s only online.

Just like me.

But this morning, here at the Hacienda, a far cry from Houston and New Orleans in all aspects, after coffee and bagels and cream cheese (lite), I went out the veranda door to do a bit of yardwork.

Madeleine Peyroux was still singing on the music machine.

I deadheaded a few Birds of Paradise. I whacked back one of the small bougainvilleas. I picked up rotting golden datura blooms from the ground in the Willy-Nilly Zone. And I cut stalks of defunct aloe vera flowers.

The weather was wonderful, and it appears the rainy season, which long overstayed its welcome this year, may have retired till June. I pray so.

We have plenty of work planned around here,* and it awaits the genuine end of the rainy season because it’s outdoor work. Not work I will do, of course. Work that people I employ will do, guys who do cement and stone.

And colonial tile.

terraza
Potted plants sitting on a scruffy surface. But you just wait!

There are three arches in the veranda, as you can see in the photo. There are potted plants resting on the three ledges below. They sit on a dingy brick surface. In about a week, a guy will come and lay beautiful colonial tile. I don’t know why I didn’t think of this 15 years ago or even last year.

It will be a huge — Yuge! — improvement. I’ll post photos.

In the meantime, I wonder if my second ex-wife still reads the Sunday newspaper in bed. I almost emailed her this morning to inquire. But I didn’t.

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* More work than has been done by far since the Hacienda’s construction. Roofs will be razed. Stairs will be moved. Floors will be ripped up. The Jesus Patio will be destroyed. Fruit trees will fall. More on all that when it happens.

Blowback from the break

SINCE MY CHILD bride broke her arm recently, life has taken some significant detours here at the Hacienda.

Some affect her more than me, and some affect me more than her, but everyone is affected. Perhaps the worst part is that she cannot go to the gym, something she’s done regularly for about 30 years.

This is driving her nuts.

Since her car has an automatic transmission, and her broken arm is the left one, and she’s right-handed, she can still drive, but she’s nervous about it, so she’s not driving. I am now the full-time chauffeur.

She cannot easily put cream cheese on her bagels in the morning or orange marmalade on her croissants. I do that for her.

Neither can she iron clothes, which she’s done since we got married. I am fully capable of ironing clothes, and I ironed clothes all the time during my previous marriage. Now I’m back to ironing clothes.

But I don’t do it as well as she does because the occasional wrinkle does not bother me. I’m more laid back about creases’ locations.

She still sweeps and mops, but not very well. Oh, well.

When she showers, I have to tape a plastic bag around her cast. She does remove it, however. We’re using lots of bags.

Which brings us to her hair, which is curly and very long. There’s not much she can do with it wielding one hand so I have been drafted. I am not good at it. Sometimes she looks goofy.

Her weekend pastry sales on the downtown plaza have been suspended, so she’s unemployed. I continue her benefits, however.

Today ends the first week of this new life. According to the doctor, it will continue for another three to five weeks. We’re praying for just three.

Neither of us had broken a bone before, and neither of us had lived with someone who’d broken a bone, so we’d never given it much thought.

It’s kind of a pain in the butt.

Look-about in late July

fragment
Even ceramic fragments add to decor.

THIS IS SUNDAY, the day of rest according to Christian belief, but I am not a Christian, so I stepped outside this morning after black café and bagels to attend to mounting chores.

I swept. I watered. I wiped and refilled the birdbath. I doubt the birds care, but I do. Appearances matter. I chopped some green detritus and dropped it into a big trash bin. I wiped the Jesus Patio table, and I swept the veranda.

pot
Oblong pot of something or other.

We wake every morning in the low 60s, temperature-wise, but by afternoon it’s warmed to the low 70s.

face
He scares the snails.

A niece and her 1-year-old daughter moved to town yesterday from the nearby state capital. Her boyfriend left her, so she’s coming here to work in the coffee shop. To complicate the matter she discovered this week she’s four months pregnant, a gift from the same boyfriend, but he’s still gone.

One of my child bride’s brothers drove his truck here from his home in Querétaro and moved the niece’s few and quite humble belongings to the mountaintop. We’ll see how this plays out.

Her mother, my child bride’s sister, has four children and has never been married. I think I see a repeating pattern.

Highlands Mexican life is great weather and nonstop drama.

Most of my chores this morning are behind me, so I’ll shower, dress and slip into a Christian-like Day of Rest. It will be nice. We’ll eat in a restaurant.

Two nights ago, lying in bed reading our Kindles, the both of us, a big storm began outside, coming down from the mountains. The bedroom window was open. As wind whipped outside, it pushed the sweet smell of golden datura into the bedroom from the big bush just beyond. It covered us like Chanel.

That sort of thing can deliver sweet dreams.